Netflix teases Martin Scorsese and Robert De Niro's all-star gangster epic 'The Irishman'

Ben Arnold
Contributor

Those hoping for a first glimpse of Martin Scorsese’s forthcoming gangster epic… will have to keep hoping, sadly. A teaser has arrived for the long-in-gestation The Irishman, but other than a falling bullet, it’s really not giving a great deal away.

A cryptic voice-over finds De Niro discussing the ‘painting of houses’, as the bullet assists in spelling out the names of the enviable cast. Watch it above.

Martin Scorsese’s The Irishman (Credit: Netflix)

“Painting houses” is mobster speak for providing murderous services, something that De Niro’s character Frank ‘The Irishman’ Sheeran is said to have been well versed in.

It’s also the name of the book Scorsese has based the film on, I heard You Paint Houses, penned by Charles Brandt in 2003, which explored Sheeran’s life from interviews he conducted over five years.

Sheeran admitted to carrying out dozens of hits for the mob, among them said to be that of Jimmy Hoffa, the powerful union leader involved in organised crime who went missing in 1975.

In The Irishman, Hoffa is played by Al Pacino, with special de-ageing technology being used to take movie-goers back in time.

Its editor Thelma Schoonmaker recently told Yahoo that Scorsese fans shouldn’t expect another Goodfellas, as its an entirely different kind of movie to the director’s 1990 mob classic.

The Irishman is not Goodfellas,” Schoonmaker says. “And that’s what they think it’s going to be. It’s not. It is not Goodfellas. It’s completely different. It’s wonderful. They’re going to love it. But please don’t think it’s gonna be Goodfellas, because it isn’t.”

“We’re youthifying the actors in the first half of the movie. And then the second half of the movie they play their own age. So that’s a big risk.”

“We’re having that done by Industrial Light and Magic Island, ILM. That’s a big risk.”

“We’re seeing some of it, but I haven’t gotten a whole scene where they’re young, and what I’m going to have to see, and what Marty’s going to have to see is, ‘How is it affecting the rest of the movie when you see them young?’”

“Interestingly, we’ve only been able to screen for very few people, because they’re wearing some things on their faces, and on their clothes, that tracks their movement… Nobody minds. Nobody minds watching them play young, because they’re gripped.”

“Very few people have seen it, because we can’t show it to a big audience. But the characters are so strong, it doesn’t matter – it’s really funny. I don’t know what it’s going to be like when we get it all – that’s the risk.”

“And it’s an expensive project, [Netflix are] taking a risk there.”

Joining De Niro and Pacino on the bill are Joe Pesci, Harvey Keitel, Ray Romano, Anna Paquin, Bobby Cannavale, Stephen Graham and Jack Huston.

Penned by Steven Zaillian, it lands on Netflix and selected cinemas later this year.

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